EO Stories 2021

EO Stories 2021

EO Stories celebrates how being employee owned has supported your business during challenging times.

We have been hearing from employee-owned businesses of all sizes about how their focus on their people has supported employee health and wellbeing, helped the business adapt and delivered benefit for multiple stakeholders.

The EOA, in partnership with Baxendale, had called for you to tell your stories of how being better together in business has helped during a time of great change.

Video flashback to 2021 winners

The EO Stories competition crowned six winners at the EOA Annual Conference in 2021 after thousands of votes were cast by the EO community for their favourites among the 35 insightful and inspiring stories submitted across the four categories below. There were also two special prizes, the Partner’s Pick and President’s Pick.

As well as featuring all 35 stories across our social media throughout July and August 2021, and then featuring the six winners, 13 of the stories also featured in EOA Conference 2021 learning sessions attended/viewed by hundreds of people, while all the other entries were also part of top tips guides, articles and case studies following the competition.

Click the links below to watch the video case studies of all the 2021 winners:

  • Celebrating a True EO Champion: Godric Bader of Scott Bader. Watch here >>
  • Promoting Employee Wellbeing: Seetec. Watch here >>
  • Delivering Good Governance and Engagement: Community Dental Services (CDS) CIC. Watch here >>
  • Developing Business Resilience: The National Self Build and Renovation Centre (NSBRC). Watch here >>
  • Partner’s Pick: Tomlinson. Watch here >>
  • President’s Pick: Claremont Group Interiors. Watch here >>

Click here to read up on the winners >>

About our EO Stories Partner: Baxendale

Baxendale are specialist advisers on employee ownership.  They have been advising businesses for twenty years and have been employee owned themselves for thirty years.  They have helped over 100 businesses become employee owned and also provide support to employee owned businesses post transition.

Baxendale logo

Baxendale are proud partners of EO Stories, as their own remarkable EO story is not only the reason that they do the work they do; but is also central to their passion for and belief in employee ownership.

Read their transformational EO Story here.


Celebrating a
True EO Champion

Celebrating a True EO Champion

Wave Refrigeration - The Next Generation

WAVE has invested in recruiting at least one trainee every year. The success of its training programme, known as the ‘Next Generation’, is unparalleled in the refrigeration industry – with the company earning recognition and awards. Their EO Champions are their young people, those who are the future of business leadership and economic success.… Read more

Gripple - P&C Director Gripple Ltd

While Gripple’s employee owners felt empowered to support each other and the business during the pandemic, when we think of a true EO Champion this year, our thoughts turn to our People and Culture Director Katrina Ritchie. She became the reassuring face and voice of our internal pandemic response from an internal track and trace to checking on those who are shielding, while people feeling safe to continue working throughout.… Read more

Godric Bader, A legacy that lives on…

When we learned about the request for EO Champion stories relating to individuals who have gone above and beyond to make sure that the values and culture of EO is kept alive, it was unanimously decided that Scott Bader’s champion must be Godric Bader. The guiding principles that he and his family established when forming the Scott Bader Commonwealth have successfully steered the organisation for over 70 years and resonates powerfully on how we have supported each other and our communities during the pandemic.… Read more

Our EO Champion: Neil Wright

Our Managing Director Neil Wright purchased TensCare from the other company owners in 2017, and swiftly moved us to being an Employee Owned company, even gifting his shares back to the Trust for the benefit of all staff. This was the first of many incredible and selfless things Neil has done to further and better the company for all owners and the customers we help, and although we believe we are all EO champions, this and many other points detailed in this story is why we have nominated Neil as our EO Champion 2021.… Read more

Delivering Good
Governance and Engagement

Delivering Good Governance and Engagement

CDS CIC - Our EO Story

When huge issues arising from the pandemic hit out ability to care for patients, our employee engagement supported by our governance structures was essential to empowering our employees to deliver a series of new processes and solutions, while inducting 150 new employees just as the first lockdown was underway.… Read more

Riverford - Good governance and engagement is firmly rooted

For us, employee ownership is not just a lable; every co-owner can really play a part in shaping our business. ‘Success’ means much more than just profits – we want Riverford to be a place people enjoy coming to work, and a business our co-owners feel proud of. During the pandemic the governance and engagement increased to make sure people were still our main focus during a demanding time.… Read more

Emperor - Employee-powered for a sustainable future

Emperor’s first year as an employee owned business was far from the one we predicted - but amid challenging circumstances, employee ownership supported critical decision making and strong governance. It also reinforced our values and ensured our people and their wellbeing were always front of mind.… Read more

Quintessa - Our EO Story

Quintessa is a technical and strategic consultancy, research and software business which has been employee-owned since its inception over 20 years ago. Quintessa’s EO culture and our key principles of transparency, engagement and respect for employees have been embodied by our leadership in governing our response to the pandemic.… Read more

UMi - Going Further in Partnership

As an employee-owned SME, UMi has been tackling the same challenges in the last year as the thousands of businesses that we help annually. Strong governance and employee engagement have been the driving force in our success in making it easier for businesses to do more and go further. Whether leaders need more funding, customers, talent or simply precious time, we draw on the power of our network and our incredible team to do what others say can’t be done.… Read more

Business Resilience

Developing Business Resilience

Gripple - Our EO Story

Gripple’s ability to innovate has supported its resilience throughout the pandemic, with our founder Hugh Facey’s ‘if the ball drops it, catch-it’ approach to taking responsibility means our employees have felt empowered to deal with issues and capitalise on opportunities.… Read more

3P Innovation - Is Employee Ownership the UK’s answer to the Mittelstand?

3P innovation draw a parallel between Germany's 'Mittelstand' companies and employee-owned businesses in the UK. Are EO businesses the equivalent to Germany's 'Mittelstands'? If so, will employee-owned businesses drive a similar success for UK exporters?
Read more

The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weightplan - Our EO Story

As the lockdowns took hold in April and May 2020, our sales revenue took a hit the like of which the company has never experienced before in its 37-year history. However, from that moment onwards, our pandemic story is an inspiring one – first, resilience, then an astonishing rebound that led in time to a full recovery.… Read more

Computer Application Services Ltd (CAS) - Our EO Story

Edinburgh-based software company CAS has a team of 26 people, all employee-owners. This EO story tells of developing resilience when Covid-19 struck just as the company’s re-invention was reaching critical mass.  … Read more

TateHindle - Our EO Story

TateHindle was founded in 1992, and we value highly our creative commons – the expertise, spirit and skills we have now shared for a generation. In 2016 we became an employee-owned trust and now, as a practice of fifty people, we continue to build on these good foundations with imagination because the more we evolve together, the better we become.
Read more

Tomlinson Ltd - Crisis, Culture, Cohesion & the Bottom Line

With almost one-hundred-years’ trading under its belt, Tomlinson is no stranger to navigating stormy seas but the arrival of the Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 presented the company - as it did the world - with an array of colossal and sobering new challenges which no business, however large or small, could possibly have predicted or completely prepared for.… Read more

Claremont Group Interiors - Our EO Story

As a people-oriented business we transferred into an Employee-Owned Trust in December 2020 and we strongly believe that our new ownership model is a perfect representation of the attitude of our people and the culture of our business.
During the pandemic, the wellbeing of our people was our top priority and so we ran a number of different initiatives, one of which was our Claremont challenge.
Read more

Kinetic - Our Story Over the Last 15 Months

Our EO Story shows how all of the companies in the Kinetic group came together to play a part in adapting to the new Covid environment, and how we continued to deliver for our customers.… Read more

Loadhog - The Power of Many Owners

In the last three years Loadhog has increased their operation from 90 employees in total to 162, with 100+ of the group being made up of employee owners. Each and every one of these employees has played a vital role in delivering this transformation. We'll tell you about how a few of them have contributed to the resilience of our business.… Read more

NSBRC - Our EO Story

As soon as the Prime Minister instructed the nation to ‘stay at home’, we realised the pandemic would have a fundamental impact on our business. It left us with some daunting questions to answer. How could we run a national visitor centre with no visitors(!) and how to do that from our own kitchens or hastily made home-offices?!… Read more

Provide CIC - How employee ownership inspired resilience and a people-first response to the pandemic

In 2020/21, the delivery of health and social care services was tested in an unprecedented way. Almost overnight, Provide faced the challenge of adapting its delivery of care to thousands of existing patients, with a rapidly escalating responsibility to meet the needs of thousands more impacted by Covid-19.… Read more

Smile Together - Our EO Story

Delivering dental care, service improvement and community impact during and despite the pandemic - thank goodness for employee-ownership and our engaged, dedicated, professional teams!… Read more

Tapestry - Developing Business Resilience

Tapestry is a multi-award winning boutique law firm specialising in all aspects of global executive and employee share and incentive plans. We are a business that advises our clients on employee ownership. Therefore in October 2020, when we transitioned to an employee ownership model with the formation of an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), we were finally embracing the industry in which we work!… Read more

Employee Wellbeing

Promoting Employee Wellbeing

City Healthcare Partnership - Our EO Story

Providing a wide range of high quality, safe health and care services in Hull, the East Riding of Yorkshire, Knowsley and St Helens, employing 2,500 colleagues. we are a 100% co-owned 'for better profit' organisation, investing profits into our services, colleagues and the communities we work in. As the effects of covid on communities and individuals were being revealed, we knew that a focus on employee well-being was essential to ensure we continued to serve communities.… Read more

Architype - Our EO Story

Our core values and our commitment to our values Include having people's wellbeing at our heart. The Impact of covid was initially very tough on the business, but our lessons learned from previous hard times made us know that If we focus on the people the business will benefit.… Read more

Aquascot - Investing in Our Partners

Our partners are Aquascot’s most important asset. The Partnership Council, as ‘The Voice of the Partners’, have been at the forefront of ensuring that partners feel and experience this while at work. It is widely recognised by the industry that investing in your employees helps in many ways, from lowering absence rates and increasing retention rates to creating a more engaged workforce.… Read more

Chums - Our EO Story

As the impact of the pandemic increased, employees at CHUMS Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Service took the reins to drive forward their own wellbeing initiatives improving connectivity and enabling creativity and flexibility. This ensured high quality virtual interventions were developed and we have continued to provide support to the children, young people and families within the local community.… Read more

Collective Architecture - Our EO Story | Neal Whitaker

Collective Architecture has, for many years, placed staff wellbeing at the core of its ethos and has maintained a degree of flexibility around the way we work to facilitate this. What the pandemic has done is reframe our understanding of the extent to which this flexibility can be engaged as a tool to improve work/life balance, to the benefit of both staff and the practice.… Read more

CSH Surrey - Our EO Story

The uncertainties of the pandemic placed additional burdens on CSH Surrey’s workforce, read how they made sure that all colleagues were able to easily access help and support whenever they needed.… Read more

Make Architects - Our EO Story

Our EO Story talks about how Make has coped since lockdown began with different initiatives to keep us connected, to support our wellbeing and mental health, and our charity work.… Read more

Mindworks - We're only ever as strong as our people

Up to early 2020, our 32-strong team of co-owners at MindWorks Marketing were working together in our spacious purpose-built workplace at Emsworth harbour. Then the lives of people around the world were turned upside down, and we had to get comfortable in makeshift offices in our kitchens, bedrooms and even hallways. We knew that much of our time was going to be taken up with trying to look after ourselves and others so our top priority from the start was our colleagues’ wellbeing.… Read more

Ovation Finance - Our EO Story

Clients have always been at the centre of what we do, but employee wellbeing has been key to our success.
Ovation’s management team listened to and empowered employees throughout the pandemic.
By working together, we ensured our clients continued to receive the high-quality service they would usually expect from us.… Read more

Seetec - Promoting Employee Wellbeing

One of Seetec’s strategic aims is the creation of a progressive, collaborative, and healthy working environment and as such we have a comprehensive health and well-being policy, but the pandemic brought unique challenges for our people. They suddenly found themselves working remotely, often home-schooling children or dealing with vulnerable family members, all whilst supporting vulnerable clients who were experiencing similar challenges themselves.… Read more

Synergy Vision - Our EO Story

Strengthening foundations and putting people first. Synergy Vision extends its values beyond Employee Ownership.
Fresh. Smart. Open. Real. That’s our commitment to delivering the difference, not only to clients, but to each and every employee.
Read more

Tenscare - How Mindfulness Became A Team Effort

Read how mindfulness and wellbeing became a team effort at TensCare, from before lockdown through to the present.… Read more